Dr. Rüdiger Schulz
Faculty of Science, Utrecht University
Kruytgebouw, room W606
3584 CH Utrecht
Tel. +31-(0)30-253 3046
Rüdiger Schulz did his PhD research in the field of Animal Physiology – Comparative Endocrinology at the Ruhr-University in Bochum (Germany), and continued to work in this field during his post-doc period in Germany (1983-1990). In 1990, he joined the division of Comparative Endocrinology in Utrecht as Assistant Professor and was promoted to Associated Professor in 2002. Since 2003 (with an interruption from 2009-2014), he has been holding an adjunct Research Professor position (“forskningsjef”) at the Institute of Marine Research in Bergen (Norway).
One of the characteristics of vertebrate reproduction is the extrinsic control of gonadal functions by hormones of the brain-pituitary system. We aim at understanding the functioning of paracrine signaling networks operating in the adult testis that are regulated by pituitary hormones and ensure male fertility by directing the activity of germ and somatic stem cell populations. Male zebrafish are used as experimental model for basic biological questions; translational aspects are studied in collaborative projects using the Atlantic salmon, a species of economic relevance in the context of protein production for human consumption. Methodological advances (e.g. RNAseq for mRNA, miRs and lncRNAS) served to implement comparative approaches identifying, categorizing, and characterizing hormonally (follicle-stimulating hormone) controlled signaling pathways and gene expression profiles. Focusing on growth factors, functional studies combine loss-of-function in vivo models (CRISPR/Cas) and gain-of-function (recombinant zebrafish proteins) ex vivo models. Functional studies are evaluated with a combination of morphological, morphometric, biochemical and molecular approaches. Particularly interesting seem results obtained on growth factors with “known” functions that turn out to have evolutionary older, additional functions in fish that have remained undetected so far, or results on “new” gene family members derived from the teleost-specific genome duplication that then underwent neo-functionalization.
For more information, including lab members and publications, visit the website at http://web.science.uu.nl/developmentalbiology/schulz/index.html